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The ISSF Rifle Judges course was an intense two-day affair, writes COLIN WATSON. Held at the Lord Roberts centre within Bisley Camp, it was quite an experience for Gavin Walker, Iain Malone, John Buchanan and Jim McIntosh, but particularly for myself as it was my first visit to Bisley. The course featured around 17 people, some of whom had held C licences before. A fair amount of work had gone into studying for it, especially bearing in mind the course had been aborted before Christmas, but hats off to Gavin who had to do a lot of cramming in a short time as he was unable to attend the original date and the cancellation proved a blessing in disguise. He, along with all the Scots, managed to pick up a high enough score to qualify for a B licence - except of course that as we were sorely lacking in practical experience we will have to stick in for the next year or two and officiate at events across Britain to make the grade.

The course was run by British Shooting's David Goodfellow with a major contribution from the ISSF's David Parish. Their combined knowledge is huge and, in between a series of tests throughout the weekend, they were able to offer plenty of advice, engage in discussion - often extremely animated - on the many rules and constant updates and new interpretations. For those who stayed on camp for the Saturday, there was an excellent meal served up in the Army Target Shooting Club and made for a relaxed atmosphere to blether and wind down after a long day. And for that I think I don't grudge Parish having two desserts or for Scotland being blamed for Britain's banking ills...

Sunday brought more of the same, with the course touching on subjects such as electronic scoring targets, Olympic finals set-ups, future rule changes and air pistol events. It's apparent to all of us that this is only the beginning of a long, hard road but one which will hopefully benefit Scotland's shooting sports community. For our next competition...load!


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